I didn't get to go to the popular blogging conference Alt Summit SLC this past month, but with all of the reflections and Instagram's floating around from the conference, it really got me thinking about my blogging life and know-how. I've been chatting a bit about design this last week, so I thought it might be time to put together a list of some of my most-needed, most-wanted blogger essentials. Here they are!
1. Wacom Bamboo Capture tablet - from Macy's, $99
I use my Wacom tablet nearly everyday. If you love bloggers who post photos with handwritten notes, or who do illustrations, a Wacom tablet is what you need to achieve the same effect. It's also a great way to give your wrist a break from the mouse. My Wacom tablet came with a copy of Photoshop Elements 7, which is a great photo editing starter software for new bloggers. It's how I put together this collage!
It's a tried and true fact that creating a consistent editorial calendar for your blog posts will help drive traffic and increase readership loyalty. Use a calendar to plan your posts! I love Moleskine and use their date books exclusively. My favorite is this extra-large soft cover weekly planner, because it's big enough to fit all of my info and has a notebook page next to every week for notes and reminders.
Almost every blogger (and non-blogger) I know is obsessed with Instax cameras. This is a great starter one, and is fabulous for parties and road trips. I've been taping my photos into my journal (which are also Moleskine, duh!) with washi tape. It's so fun!
4. Ban.do Tulle Pom Headband - from Anthropologie, $28
Have you ever been to a blogger meet-up? They are so fun! Community is a huge part of blogging, and there are most likely some eager bloggers in your area who would love to get together to talk about their craft and collaborations with you! I went to two last fall with other Denver bloggers, and we had a blast! There was a lot of Ban.do represented there - Ban.do is a major blogger fav. You gotta have that blogger style!
5. Warby Parkers - from Warby Parker, $95 for Rx lenses
Warby Parkers are the eyeglass trend for bloggers right now (Jen, Liz, and Kim to name a few). Choose five frames to try on at home, and they'll send them to you to try out for free! Once you've made your choice, they give a pair of glasses to someone in need for every pair that you purchase. Isn't that awesome? I'm waiting for mine to come in the mail. Can't wait to show you!
6. Ban.do iPhone cases - from Anthropologie, $28
Photos are a big part of the blogging world, and most of us do not start with a fancy DSLR camera. Use the camera on your iPhone! Joy the Baker even admitted that she started out with her camera on her phone, and she gained quite the following! Just get your phone some nice bling via Ban.do while you're out there capturing the world.
7. Blogshop - from $489 to $772
Blogshop is the primo blog and photoshop education. Taught by Bri Emery of Design Love Fest and photographer Angela Kohler, you will learn all you need to know in this Photoshop bootcamp. It's a pretty big investment, but it definitely has big rewards. It's okay if you've never even opened Photoshop before. They start with the basics, and help you learn to apply Photoshop skills to your blogging needs. Blogshop is taught all over the country, and around the world. For more info, watch this awesome stop motion video.
If you can't fork out several hundred dollars for Blogshop, but still want to take some classes on blogging, look no further than Alt Summit. Alt hosts online classes on a variety of subjects related to your blogging needs, and they are taught by well-known and experienced bloggers. I've taken so many of these classes, and they're so worth it. Some of my favorites have been "Understanding Analytics" and "How to Win at Business Cards." And the great thing is that they're usually about $15! Check 'em out!
9. Blog Inc: Blogging for Passion, Profit and to Create Community by Joy Cho - from West Elm, $16.95
Joy Cho is one of the best bloggers out there. Her blog Oh Joy! is a great example of a successful and positive blog. She released her second book last year, and it's all about blogging! It's chock full of insights from great bloggers, and tips about how to get your blog started and off the ground. This is a must-have.